Poor man's Ooty yearns for visitors

Even in the sense of state politics, many a chief minister and ministers have come from the town who continue to play a prominent role; three reservoirs irrigate several lakh acres of land. Even the Space Control Centre is located in Hassan district.

With all this, if one thinks how many visitors come to Hassan and choose to stay even for a short period, the answer may not be really pleasant. Visitors who come to Mangalore, Mysore or Bangalore, stay in those towns for a few days to see the places around. Hassan would stand to gain a lot even if 10 per cent of the visitors stay in the city during their trip.

The reasons behind visitors choosing to stay elsewhere are many. Firstly, tourist homes or facilities for tourists to stay are minimal and hotels are in dismal condition. Many years ago, The Taj Group was permitted to build a hotel in the taluk, but there has been hardly any progress. The district administration is contemplating on claiming the place back since the Taj Group has not started work yet.

The state government can start as many modes of tourism as it wants — for instance religious, eco, historical, heritage, adventure, water sports, etc. This time around, the district administration is seriously planning to exploit the tourism potential the district holds.

A survey in association with UNESCO to develop 18 tourist spots in the district, is in its final stages. Deputy commissioner K G Jagadish says a clear picture would emerge after the report is submitted to the government.

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